Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dipped Pretzels

It is snowing outside tonight. This weather makes me want to snuggle under my blanket, turn the fireplace on, and break out the cocoa machine! Which, as I look around I am actually snuggled under my favorite blanket, with the fireplace on - and I am thinking miniature marshmallows and chocolate....

Last Friday I demonstrated how to dip pretzels. It it very simple, but very time consuming. I intended to get up early, dip the pretzels and get on with the rest of my day. At 5:45, (I was supposed to be there at 6:00) I was still dipping pretzels... Of course, my kids were there - bailing me out - once again! They are always by my side, getting me through! I am sure they wish I would stop thinking 'I can do that' because in reality 'I can do that, with their help!'

Anyway... here is a quick demo on dipping pretzels!
(First you need to make your gooey homemade caramel)

Homemade Caramels
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups white sugar
2 cubes butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups light karo syrup

Mix ingredients together. Cook, stirring constantly until candy reaches 234 degrees on candy thermometer, or soft ball.
Be patient and stir stir stir! It takes a good 15 minutes to get there

As soon as it reaches the soft ball stage, immediately take off heat and stir in 3/4 tsp vanilla.

For pretzels you are going to use the caramel right out of the pan. If you want to wrap caramels you would pour this into a greased 9x13 pan and wait until cooled completely before cutting and wrapping)

There is a shortcut... if you do not want to make caramel - you can buy this and heat it in the microwave.

You can buy this at Funfinity in Orem. I also buy the pretzels and chocolate there too.

Now we are ready to dip the pretzels
Coat the pretzel stick an leave about one inch uncovered at the top. 
Place on either waxed paper, or non-stick aluminum foil.
This is important - learn from my mistakes!

Melt the milk chocolate and white chocolate morsels in separate bowls
Once the caramel has cooled you are ready to dip caramel pretzel rods in the chocolate.
The great thing about dipped pretzels is that there are no rules. Anything you can imagine - try!
You can roll in nuts, crushed oreos, coconut, m&m's, toffee bits ....
whatever sounds good to you!

After you have dipped all the pretzels in the chocolate - and they are cooled - you can make them pretty
To drizzle:
After the chocolate has cooled, take a small spoon with a little bit of chocolate and just kind of flick it over the pretzels. It is so easy and I love how they look.
Great for gifts! Yummy to eat! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010


"Delicious Autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird
I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns."
George Eliot

 I have been having such a good time in the kitchen lately! Infact I have just  been having a good time. I am in love with this weather and want to breathe in every bit of fire red leaves, cool crisp mornings, and delighted little faces as they discover the world of pumpkins. 

I want to share a Pumpkin Spice Muffin recipe with you! The pumpkin and the hint of cinnamon and nutmeg are just too much! But then the cinnamon cream cheese spread is the 'it' of the recipe!

For the muffins:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl; set aside

In a separate bowl combine pumpkin, melted butter and eggs in a small bowl; stir until well mixed. Stir pumpkin mixture into flour mixture until just combined... 
remember we love texture

Put batter into muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for 22-23 minutes (My oven has been cooking hot, I ended up only cooking mine for about 18 minutes... don't let them overbake)

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter
Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Melt the butter in a separate bowl. Dip tops of warm muffins in butter and then in cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Don't you love the pumpkiny robe in all of my morning pictures!
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Spread
1 3oz pkg cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1 Tbsp (or so) brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Blend all ingredients until creamy and smooth.

Then... if this wasn't pumpkiny fun enough! The very next morning I used the remaining cinnamon cream mixture. I got a delicious loaf of chunky cinnamon bread from Kneaders. Spread the creamy mixture on one slice and topped with another slice of bread. Dipped them in a mixture of eggs and half-n-half, cooked until all gooey and brown. Of course I topped it with my buttermilk syrup! 

Try it... you'll like it!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday dinner

We had a family-go-to favorite today. It is so easy and one of those crock pot meals that brings this unexpected happy state, when in the middle of the day, you realize that dinner is prepared! I love crock-pot meals.
Lemon Pepper Chicken
1 pkg frozen chicken breast tenders
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
Lemon pepper
Place frozen chicken tenders in your crock pot and sprinkle with Lemon Pepper. 
We love Lemon Pepper so I may do a little more than sprinkle
In a separate bowl combine
cream of chicken soup and 
sour cream.
Once again add Lemon Pepper
I usually let the chicken cook for a few hours and then I add the cream mixture.
Then walk away... and upon your return you have dinner.
I always serve with mashed potatoes because this also provides the yummiest sauce for your potatoes!

Now for dessert!
This whole day was just full of autumn comfort!

Apple Cake with Vanilla Cream Sauce
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
4 apples, peeled and diced small
1 cup nuts (optional)
my family is not a big fan of nuts so I usually leave them out
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients together
Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes
Keep your eye on your cake, and once toothpick comes out clean, it is done!

Vanilla Cream Sauce
Oh my!
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup evaporated milk
Combine in a saucepan on the stove
Bring to a boil and stir constantly for a couple of minutes

Prepare your whipped cream and then...

Cake...Sauce...Whipped Cream... Deliciousness!!! 

Monday, October 11, 2010


I love breakfast! I am constantly on an expedition for new breakfast recipes. Right now I am in love with peaches... so combination peaches and breakfast.... what else? Peach Pancakes.
You will need:
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup fresh peaches, diced (if you don't have fresh peaches, you can sub canned)
Add all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
Beat the eggs in a large bowl until fluffy. Whisk all ingredients together, except peaches, just until smooth.
Fold in the diced peaches.
Grease and heat a large skillet or griddle on medium heat.
Pour slightly less that 1/4 cup of batter per pancake onto hot skillet.
Cook until bubbles begin to form on top and pancake is puffed and dry around the edges.
Flip and cook on the other side until golden brown. 
Aren't they pretty, crispy around the edges, peaches peeking through...
Top with sliced peaches and syrup (buttermilk syrup of course!)
Hurry and try them before the peaches are gone.... 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Quick Peach Cobbler

Do you have your peaches yet? Have you actually driven to one of the lovely little stands and bought a box of peaches from these homegrown stands. If you didn't live in Utah you know you would miss this time of  year. Our own Farmer's Market filled with specially picked fruits and veggies full of so much sweetness it just can not be matched by grocery fed produce.

If you don't have them - this is a must do! You can bottle peaches so that you can enjoy the sweetness all winter long. You can mash them and sugar them into delicious frozen jam. You can make peachy pancakes or waffles, or slice them and eat them with milk and brown sugar (this just happens to be my favorite)

But for tonight I am going to give you...

Quick and Delicious Peach Cobbler
The most important cast member has to be the peach.
I am begging you get your peaches!

Ingredients for our cobbler;
10 to 12 medium sized peaches
1 cube cold butter
1 dry pkg of yellosw cake mix
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Wash, peel, cut and slice peaches in the bottom of your casserole dish.(Aren't they pretty)
  3. Add 2/3 water in the bottom and sprinkle sugar all over the peaches.
  4. Cover the peaches with the dry cake mix.
  5. Cut up the cold butter and place all over the dry cake mix
  6. Sprinkle with cinnamon
  7. Bake at 375 for 45  minutes (should be brown and bubbly)

Don't let it sit alone very long, join in with a bowl,
 a great big spoon. 
and a big dollop of whip cream or vanilla ice cream! 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Zucchini Garden Chowder

I am loving the hints of Fall .... the carpet of color in the mountains, peaches and tomatoes on every corner, and the sightings of sweaters and boots.

 I absolutely love Fall (I absolutely love every season that isn't Winter - honestly) - but there are so many things to look forward to this time of year.

 One of them is soup season!
Thanks to Emily I made a soup last night that quickly made its way to the top of the list. Tom and Zac kind of loved it too! The fact that we were eating soup and homemade wheat bread while watching "The Middle and Modern Family" kind of made it all the more delicious!

Zucchini Garden Chowder
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tsp chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 1 pkg (10 oz) frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
  • Pinch sugar, optional
  • Additional minced parsley, optional
In a stock pot, saute the zucchini, onion, parsley and basil in butter until vegetables are tender.
Stir in the flour, salt and pepper
Gradually add the water and bouillon. (I used 3 cups of chicken stock instead)
Add the lemon juice; mix well. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened.
Add tomatoes,milk and corn; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until corn is tender and soup has thickened.
Just before serving add the cheeses; stir until melted. Add sugar and garnish with parsley if desired.
Now sit back and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a recipe from Weight Watchers and are the best and easiest pumpkin chocolate chip cookies ever!
2 pkgs Spice Cake Mix
1 large can pure pumpkin
1 pkg chocolate chips
Yup! That's it
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes

I have been searching for canned pumpkin for months and all of the grocery stores kept telling me there was a problem with the pumpkin crop last year and they hadn't had any pumpkin shipped in over a year. I looked everywhere and had my family on the lookout as well. So... last week Summer came bounding into the house with three cans of pumpkin from Costco. I screamed like a child at Christmas!!! (Thanks Summer!) Don't you love Costco!!! Then Tom came home with a case from Costco, as well. So... I'm just sayin... you might want to pick some up on your next trip!